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Think Global, Act Local
Scottistani productions was set up to produce films around the world, using Scottish-based production teams.
Zara Janjua was a human rights journalist, working for The Innocence Project and the Scottish Human Rights Commission before becoming a producer for STV, BBC and ITV shows including This Morning and Loose Women. The Scottish Pakistani journalist became self-employed three months before lockdown in 2020, launching an impact production project called Scottistani Productions to create content for charities to raise their profile and support fundraising goals. Every year she self-funds a documentary for an organisation that aligns with her values and purpose. Scottistani is a purpose-driven project that uses visual storytelling as a force for good. It’s vision is ‘think global, act local’ by using Scottish-based production teams to make humanitarian films worldwide. The project provides an international lens for impact filmmaking and offers mentorships and credit opportunities for people breaking into the film and TV industry.
Scottistani Productions launched with 'A Spirited Journey' - a documentary filmed in Nepal in 2020. It was shortlisted at the Pinewood Studios Lift -Off First Time Filmmaker Festival in 2021 and was awarded the Technical Award for Best Production - Documentary at the Inaugural Global Tourism Film Festival. The film about marginalised and disabled women and follows the works of the UN-supported charity, Seven Women.
In June 2022, Zara undertook her second philanthropic filming project, shooting a short documentary for CHAS (Children's. Hospices Across Scotland) over 10 days while climbing the world's highest freestanding mountain in the world at 19,340 feet - Kilimanjaro. The film captures the beauty of the mountain and the experience of grieving parents who conquer the mountain in memory of the loved ones they lost. The documentary was premiered at the Global Tourism Film Festival in Canada where Zara was awarded a Female Filmmaker and Director Award.
In February, Zara travelled to rural Guatemala to discover the challenges communities face accessing education as she document the lives of children benefitting from The Guatemala Literacy Project, a collaboration between Rotary International and Cooperative For Education. She was invited to the Rotary International 2023 Annual Convention in Melbourne, Australia to speak to an audience of 16,000 people at the Rod Laver Arena where she premiered the trailer for the film. The film was premiered in The Cayman Islands at the Camana Bay Cinema at a key fundraiser for The Guatemala Literacy Project.
In addition to the philanthropic work, Zara secures commissions for short form comedy sketches. In 2018, a report commissioned by the Writers' Guide Of Great Britain revealed that less than 11% of comedy on TV in the UK was written by women. In 2019, Zara Janjua was awarded a coveted spot in the BBC Comedy Writer's Room and has since been determined to positively change that statistic. Zara was commissioned by BBC Studios to make a series of Short Stuff videos as a writer, filmmaker and performer. She is a trained video journalist with eight years experience self-shooting and editing for news and daily entertainment shows. She films with Sony & DSLR cameras and edits on Avid & Premiere Pro.
Zara has produced and directed NTA & BAFTA winning shows, videos, documentaries and segments. She also works in production for branded content. During her time as a Creative Producer for Press Association she secured an iVisa for work in the US where she worked covering World Pride, Stonewall 50. She has worked directly with Cara Delevingne, Sir Richard Branson, The US Secretary of State John Kerry, Tony Blair and Jane Goodall DBE.